"Going up that river was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world, when vegetation rioted on the earth and the big trees were kings....And this stillness of life did not in the least resemble a peace. It was the stillness of an implacable force brooding over an inscrutable intention. It looked at you with a vengeful aspect." The place is the Belgian Congo, "darkest Africa" of the late 19th century. The narrator, Marlow, describes his experiences running a river steamer for the Company and the cruel colonial exploitation that was practiced. Marlow goes into the jungle in search of the mysterious and powerful white trader Kurtz, hoping to find answers and explanations in that shadowy figure's character for the evil surrounding him.Film director Francis Ford Coppola based his Vietnam epic Apocalypse Now on this classic story.
Michael Thompson's performance of this 1902 classic demonstrates subtlety and power. His voice is sonorous and his inflections are convincing. Thompson's narration captures the brooding nature of Conrad's protagonist. We follow Marlow up the Congo River as he discovers the nuances of the trading business, and the mystery of Kurtz, a legendary Ivory trader who he meets far up the river. The inhabitants of the region show a godlike reverence towards Kurtz, and Marlow must decide whether he feels respect, horror, or pity for the man and the imperialistic machine that drives him. Heart of Darkness is Joseph Conrad's masterpiece. It exposes infernal truths about the human existence.
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A classic made better by a good performance
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